Yesterday I filed official complaints to all of the relevant authorities in regards to Drop.com.au and/or Trellian engaging in conduct that amounts to:
- multiple and persistent breaches of the auDA Registrar’s agreement, the auDA Code of Practice and the Competition and Consumer Act by enabling affiliates and related entities of Drop and Trellian to be provided with registry services;
- breach of the auDA Registrar’s agreement in respect of Drop’s failure to ensure protection of the .au domain name registration infrastructure and enabling security bugs or errors to persist for 6 months; and
- breach of the auDA Registrar’s agreement and the Code of Practice for failing to perform its duties to promote consumer protection, fair trading and competition and failing to comply with the Competition and Consumer Act.
I believe Drop has contravened various clauses of the auDA Registrar Agreement by acting as registrar to facilitate the licensing of the following domain names to affiliates or related entities to Drop:
- in respect of mcg.com.au, which was transferred to Guzzini Pty Ltd (Guzzini), a company of which the directors and shareholders appear to be relatives of Mr Warmuz, despite the domain name being won at auction by a third party;
- in respect of help.com.au, which was purchased by The Investment Engine Pty Ltd, of which Mr Warmuz at the relevant time was a shareholder (we wrote about this on Domainer here), and again transferred to help.com.au Pty Ltd of which Mr Warmuz is a current director and 100% shareholder; and
- in respect of gold.com.au, which was transferred to Guzzini, of which the directors and shareholders appear to be relatives of Mr Warmuz.
- in respect of company.com.au, which we documented on Domainer back in May 2019. We also made various complaints to auDA in regards to the manipulation of the ‘drop’ of this domain name back then, at the time, but it fell on deaf ears. We have now demanded a new, proper, and thorough investigation to take place.
- in respect of breaching various clauses of the Registrar Agreement on at least 22 occasions by allowing domain names to be purchased via Drop’s auction platform (Platform) and to be registered to affiliates and related parties of Drop and Trellian.
We also draw attention to the double-standard Drop.com.au has placed on their new “terms and conditions” which saw me being ‘banned’ from using their platform, after I mentioned a sales price of a dropping domain name.
Drop banned me from bidding on daily dropping domain names for mentioning the sales price of delivery.com.au in May 2021 (around 4 months ago).
Yet, when another user of Drop’s Platform called “James”, posted on a blog forum owned by Mr Warmuz (DNTrade.com.au), the price of the sale of tradingroom.com.au about one month after I was banned (June 2021), nothing happened. “James” access to the Platform wasn’t restricted, with ‘Trellian’ (assumed to be Mr Warmuz himself) posting on the same blog post a few weeks later, with no mention of the new “terms” that were supposed to see “James” banned in the same way I was.
A screenshot was taken by a concerned domain investor at the time as shown here:
We will report more on the outcome of these complaints in the near future.